Alternative "milks" are everywhere these days. If you can make a milk out of something, you can find it at your local Whole Foods: oats, cashews, macadamia nuts, even quinoa. But there's a sleeper hit on the milk front that you don't hear about nearly as often. Goat milk might not sound like something you want to pour into your coffee, but you should consider adding it to your skin-care routine, especially if you have sensitive skin.
The age-old ingredient (Cleopatra is thought to have bathed in the stuff) gets a solid thumbs up from dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD, for its ability to play nice with keratosis pilaris, eczema, and other sensitive-skin conditions. “Generally speaking, goat-milk products are gentle, so they can be used by most people and are safe for use in pregnancy,” she says.
But goat milk isn’t just mild — it also performs, and makes a great component for cleansers in particular. To start, the ingredient is naturally rich in lactic acid. “Lactic acid is a more gentle exfoliator than many of the typical exfoliators out there, like salicylic acid, and may be better tolerated by those with sensitive skin,” says Raja Sivamani, MD, a dermatologist and adjunct associate professor of clinical dermatology at UC Davis. This makes for truly gentle exfoliation, and brighter and smoother complexions for even the most irritable of skin.
The benefits don’t stop there. As Dr. Shah points out, lactic acid has humectant properties to help draw moisture into the skin. Combine this with other aspects of the star ingredient — moisturizing fatty acids, along with vitamins, minerals, and peptides that can potentially improve signs of aging, according to Dr. Shah — and you’ve got yourself a serious multitasker with nary a harsh acid or retinoid in sight. Greatest Of All Time? See why goat milk cleansers live up to the name, ahead.